By Rick Colvin
The Landings Men’s Golf Association wrapped up its 2021-2022 season Nov. 16 and 17 with two Championship rounds of Individual Stableford competition on the Deer Creek and Magnolia courses.
The outcome of those two rounds also had a major impact on the year-long Player of the Year competition, which was won by Don Snyder for the second year in a row.
The Player of the Year trophy as well as trophies for the largest number of Stableford points in each of the three tee divisions over the two-day tournament were handed out Nov. 17 at the LMGA’s Annual Awards banquet.
Flight winners were: 1st Flight, Edgar Yu; 2nd Flight, Dave Creasy; 3rd Flight, Michael Allen; 4th Flight, Don Snyder; 5th Flight, David Johnson; 6th Flight, Gary Howard.
Allen won the Club Division, recording 35 points in the first round and 39 points in the second—a rare example of someone who did better on the difficult Magnolia course on a bitterly cold day. David Ryan finished second in that division.
Allen downplayed his victory, saying that he has a very high handicap that gave him many strokes, including several holes on which he received two, meaning that a par, which would usually count for two points, registered as an eagle, which gave him four.
“Fortunately, I was able to take advantage of those holes, and I had two eagles during the Deer Creek round and three in the Magnolia round,” Allen said. “I didn’t have any spectacular shots, just playing smarter and taking my medicine when I had to and playing for the bogey.”
David Johnson won the Medal Division with 74 points, posting 37 points for each round. Tom Seipel was two off the lead with 72 points.
Johnson said he was baffled by his Magnolia performance under “brutal conditions.” One key was that he took an extra club or two on his approach shots, accounting for the cold and the wind. He also said he got lucky on several shots. “It was mind over matter,” he said. “I just told myself that none of us were happy playing Mag in those conditions, and I was just going to ignore the cold.”
Snyder not only won Player of the Year honors, he topped the Club-Medal division with 67 points; Steve Thomas also scored 67 points, but lost in a cardoff.
The Player of the Year award is based on showing up for the weekly games throughout the year, performance, and, importantly, play in the two-day championship.
Snyder competed in every LMGA event of the season, which resulted in almost half of his POY points. He also finished in the top three in 18 of those events, including winning a dozen times. On the first day of the championship, playing on the Oakridge course, Snyder scored 38 points, good enough for second place in the 4th Flight, one point behind Larry Batanian. That was worth 900 points. On the second day of the championship, on a very cold day on the Magnolia course, Snyder came in tied for 3rd, with 29 Stableford points. That also gave him 550 points toward the POY. His two-day total of 67 Stableford points was the best in his flight.
“I did really well the first day,” he said. “On the second day, I struggled, but I was fortunate that the course was so hard, and it was so cold that a lot of people struggled.”
Paul Warhola came in 2nd place in POY points, also a repeat from the year before. Warhola competed in about 75% of the games during the year, was in the winner’s circle 13 times, and won seven times. He also did well in the championship, earning 800 points the first day for a 3rd-place finish and 550 points the second day for finishing in a tie for fourth.
Snyder, 73, is the only second person to win POY of the year two years in a row over the nine years of LMGA competition. The other golfer who has accomplished that feat is Bob Schmidt. “I was flabbergasted when I won the first time,” Snyder said. “To win it twice is amazing.”
says he plays golf four times a week and the day’s he’s not playing, he practices. “I was
Snyder said he loves competition. He plays four times a week and on days he’s not playing, he practices. Although he’s had success in individual games, he prefers team competition. “Individual match play is very stressful,” he said. “I’ve done well at it, but there’s not a lot of laughing.”
He said reason he makes playing in the LMGA a priority is that it gives him a chance to meet new people. “Too many of us play with the same people every week."
Outgoing LMGA President Peter Quinn, left, and Incoming LMGA President John Bellucci, right, award Player of Year Trophy to Don Snyder.